The Scripture of the Fo...


The Scripture of the Founding Master

Chapter Four: The Way of Humanity


The Founding Master said, “The Way was present when Admiral Yi Sunsin (1545-1598) used his mind. Although he was of high rank, he was never arrogant and shared life and death, suffering and happiness, with all his sailors. When he was deprived of his command and demoted to a mere cavalry groom, his mind was neither resentful nor debased but instead he exerted all his energy in rearing horses, and reportedly would say to them sometimes, “You may be mere animals, but you have grown this big at the country’s expense, so do your best in this time of national crisis.” He turned easy and conspicuous matters over to other generals, but kept difficult and inglorious matters for himself. In serving his superiors he was totally loyal; in leading his inferiors he showed the utmost love. Indeed, he was a sage admiral combining wisdom and virtue, a person worthy of being regarded as a mirror for everyone who handles affairs in either the country or the world.”